160. “I am at home. Fear is the stranger here.”
Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself. And thus you are unknown to you. What is your Self remains an alien to the part of you which thinks that it is real but different from yourself. Who could be sane in such a circumstance? Who but a madman could believe he is what he is not, and judge against himself?
There is a stranger in our midst, who comes from an idea so foreign to the truth he speaks a different language, looks upon a world truth does not know, and understands what truth regards as senseless. Stranger yet, he does not recognize to whom he comes, and yet maintains his home belongs to him while he is alien now who is at home.
And yet how easy it would be to say, “This is my home. Here I belong, and will not leave because a madman says I must.” What reason is there for not saying this? What could the reason be except that you had asked this stranger in to take your place, and let you be a stranger to yourself? No-one would let himself be dispossessed so needlessly unless he thought there was another home more suited to his tastes.
Who is the stranger? Is it fear or you that is unsuited to the home which God provided for His Son? Is fear His Own, created in His likeness? Is it fear that love completes and is completed
by? There is no home can shelter love and fear. They cannot coexist. If you are real, then fear must be illusion. And if fear is real, then you do not exist at all.
How simply, then, the question is resolved. Who fears has but denied himself and said, “I am the stranger here. And so I leave my home to one more like me than myself, and give him all I thought belonged to me.” Now is he exiled of necessity, not knowing who he is, uncertain of all things but this; that he is not himself, and that his home has been denied to him.
What does he search for now? What can he find? A stranger to himself can find no home wherever he may look, for he has made return impossible. His way is lost except a miracle will search him out, and show him that he is no stranger now. The miracle will come. For in his home his Self remains. It asked no stranger in, and took no alien thought to be Itself. And It will call Its Own unto Itself, in recognition of what is Its Own.
Who is the stranger? Is he not the one your Self calls not? You are unable now to recognize this stranger in your midst, for you have given him your rightful place. Yet is your Self as certain of Its Own as God is of His Son. He cannot be confused about creation. He is sure of what belongs to Him. No stranger can be interposed between His knowledge and His Son’s reality. He does not know of strangers. He is certain of His Son.
His [God’s] certainty suffices. Who he knows to be His Son belongs where He has set His Son forever. He has answered you who ask, “Who is the stranger?” Hear His Voice assure you, quietly and sure, that you are not a stranger to your Father, nor is your Creator stranger made to you. Whom God has joined remains forever one, at home in Him, no stranger to Himself.
Today we offer thanks that Christ has come to search the world for what belongs to Him. His vision sees no strangers, but beholds His Own, and joyously unites with them. They see Him as a stranger, for they do not recognize themselves. Yet as they give Him welcome they remember. And He leads them gently home again where they belong.
Not one does He [Christ] forget. Not one He fails to give you to remember, that your home may be complete and perfect as it was established. He has not forgotten you. But you will not remember Him until you look on all as He does. Who denies his brother is denying Him, and thus refusing to accept the gift of sight by which his Self is clearly recognized, his home remembered, and salvation come.